|Publication number||US5060313 A|
|Application number||US 07/502,797|
|Publication date||Oct 29, 1991|
|Filing date||Apr 2, 1990|
|Priority date||Apr 2, 1990|
|Publication number||07502797, 502797, US 5060313 A, US 5060313A, US-A-5060313, US5060313 A, US5060313A|
|Original Assignee||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (20), Classifications (8), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to football shoulder pads, and, more particularly, to a football shoulder pad which is provided with outer pads to reduce the tendency of a football to bounce off of the shoulder pad.
Football shoulder pads conventionally include a pair of relatively rigid U-shaped arch portions which extend over the shoulders of the wearer. The arch portions are molded from plastic or similar material, and padding and suspension straps are generally attached to the inside surfaces of the arch portions for cushioning impacts.
The outside surfaces of the arch portions generally remain uncovered. As a result, a football or other object which contacts the hard outer surfaces will tend to bounce away. That is a disadvantage to pass receivers, kick returners, and other players who must catch the football. It is not uncommon for a pass receiver or a kick returner to attempt to catch a ball, only to have the ball hit one of the hard arch portions and bounce away from the player.
The invention provides outer pads which are removably attached to the arch portions. The pads cushion the front surfaces of the arch portions and reduce the tendency of a ball to bounce away before it can be caught. Each pad includes a strap which is wrapped around one of the arch portions and is removably secured to the pad by hook and loop fasteners. The pads may also be provided with lace eyelets so that the pads can be further secured by the lacing which ties the arch portions together. The pads not only make the ball easier to catch but also provide protective cushions for the outer surfaces of the arch portions.
The invention will be explained in conjunction with an illustrative embodiment shown in the accompanying drawing, in which
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a conventional prior art shoulder pad;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of a shoulder pad equipped with removable outer pads on the arch portions;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 3--3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of one of the outer pads;
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of a shoulder pad equipped with another embodiment of removable outer pads; and
FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of a shoulder pad equipped with still another embodiment of removable outer pads.
FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional prior art shoulder pad 10. The shoulder pad includes a pair of U-shaped arch portions 11 and 12 which are molded from relatively rigid plastic. Each of the arch portions includes a front portion 13, a top portion 14, and a rear portion (not shown).
U-shaped inner pads 15 and 16 are attached to the inside surfaces of the arch portions, and suspension straps or cantilever straps may also be attached to the inside surfaces to prevent the top portions of the arch portions from being forced against the shoulders of the wearer. A pair of cap pads 17 and 18 are hingedly attached to the arch portions by straps, and a pair of plastic epaulets 19 and 20 overlie the caps and are attached to the arch portions by straps 21 and 22. The front portions of the arch portions are provided with eyelets 23, and the arch portions are laced together by lacing 24.
In the particular shoulder pad illustrated, the front arch portions 11 and 12 terminate above the bottom edges of the inner pads 15 and 16, and the inner pads include hinge lines 25 and 26. Protective rigid plastic sheets 27 and 28 are attached to the inner pads below the hinge lines. It will be understood, however, that the front arch portions 11 and 12 can extend downwardly to cover more of the inner pads, or the inner pads can be shorter.
The shoulder pad heretofore described is conventional and well known in the industry and a more detailed description thereof is unnecessary. The front portions of the arch portions extend over at least a portion of the chest of the wearer and provide protection against impacts during play.
FIG. 2 illustrates the same shoulder pad 10, but a pair of outer pads 30 and 31 are removably attached to the front surfaces of the two arch portions 11 and 12. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, each of the pads includes an outer casing or shell 32 and a cushion 33. The casing 32 may be formed from a sheet of fabric, for example nylon, which is folded around the cushion and secured by stitching 34. The casing extends away from the cushion to form a margin 35 which is provided with eyelets 36. The cushion can be formed from any satisfactory compressible and resilient material, for example polyurethane foam.
The pad is removably attached to the arch portion by a strap 37 which is stitched to one side of the casing. A hook and loop fastener pad 38 of the type which is sold under the trademark Velcro is attached to the free end of the strap. A complementary hook and loop fastener pad 39 is attached to the front of the casing.
As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the strap 37 extends around the arch portion and the inner pad 15 or 16 and is secured by the hook and loop pads. The pad is further secured by the lacing 24 which is laced through the eyelets 36 in the casing when the arch portions are laced together.
Each of the outer pads 30 and 31 covers a substantial portion of the front surface of the arch portions. A player wearing the shoulder pad therefore has a better opportunity of catching a football. If the ball hits the front of the shoulder pad, the outer pads will cushion the impact and reduce the tendency of the ball to bounce away. The pads also provide additional protective cushioning for the wearer and for other players who might otherwise contact the rigid arch portions.
Since the outer pads are removable, the pads can be worn or omitted depending upon the individual preferences of the players. It is not necessary to alter the shoulder pad in order to accommodate the outer pads. Some players might prefer wearing only one pad, on either the right or left arch portion. Also, the size and shape of the pad can be varied to suit the player.
If desired, other outer pads can be attached to the rear portions of the arch portions in order to provide additional protection. Further, other means for removably attaching the outer pads to the arch portions can be used. For example, the outer pads can be attached by snaps or hook and loop fastener pads which are attached to the outer pads and to the arch portions.
FIG. 5 illustrates a shoulder pad 10 which includes a pair of outer pads 40 and 41 which are removably attached to the front surfaces of the two arch portions 11 and 12 and a pair of outer pads 42 and 43 which are removably attached to the epaulets 19 and 20. The pads 40 and 41 are similar to the pads 30 and 31 and are attached to the arch portions by straps 45 which are similar to the straps 37. The pads 42 and 43 are similarly attached to the epaulets 19 and 20 by straps 46 and 47. Each of the straps 46 and 47 is secured to one side of the casing for the pad and extends around the back of the epaulet pad and is secured to a hook and loop fastener pad 48 on the front of the pad. Since the pads 42 and 43 are attached to the epaulets, the pads move with the epaulets as the epaulets move about their hinge connections 21 and 22.
FIG. 6 illustrates a shoulder pad 10 which has two large outer pads 50 and 51 secured to the front surfaces of the two arch portions 11 and 12. The pads 50 and 51 are similar to the pads 30 and 31 except that the pads 50 and 51 are longer and extend from the bottom of the arch portions to the upper portion of the epaulets 19 and 20. The pads 50 and 51 are attached in substantially the same way as the pads 30 and 31. Straps 52 which are similar to straps 37 extend around the arch portions and are secured by hook and loop fastener pads 53. The pads are further secured by the lacing 24 which is laced through the eyelets in the margins of the casings of the pads.
The pads illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 cover substantially the entire front portion of the shoulder pad and substantially reduce the possibility of a ball rebounding from the shoulder pad.
While in the foregoing specification a detailed description of specific embodiment of the invention was set forth for the purpose of illustration, it will be understood that many of the details herein given may be varied considerably by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5159715 *||May 28, 1991||Nov 3, 1992||Ampac Enterprises, Inc.||Shoulder pad with readily removable padding|
|US5173964 *||Aug 1, 1991||Dec 29, 1992||Sports Licensing, Inc.||Pivoted adjustable shoulder pad|
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|U.S. Classification||2/462, 2/45, 2/908|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S2/908, A63B2071/1208, A63B71/12|
|Apr 23, 1990||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WILSON SPORTING GOODS CO., A CORP. OF DELAWARE, IL
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:NEUHALFEN, MARK;REEL/FRAME:005280/0801
Effective date: 19900312
|Jun 6, 1995||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Oct 29, 1995||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Jan 9, 1996||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 19951101